Call for Papers International Workshop on: ECONOMY, MORALITY AND MATERIALITY

Date: 26 – 27 September 2013
Venue: University of Pardubice, Czech Republic
Long-held convictions about the immoral or amoral nature of capitalism have recently lost some of their force in light of illustrations of how moral conflicts unfold in the economic realm and examples of how religious and non-religious morality works its ways in the capitalist economy. Subsequently, the articulation of economy and morality has returned as a topic of interest in the academia. Depictions of how moral meanings are implicated in economic choices have been added to descriptions of the individualistic, economistic, immoral and amoral behaviours fostered by capitalism in societies all over the world. In addition, the mutual entanglement of capital, Islam and the market has become an active sub-field of enquiry in response to recent transformations. While capitalism and Islam have long intersected in Muslim societies across time and space, in the last decades their articulation has intensified under the impact of the concomitant spread of Islamic revivalist movements and neoliberal capitalism.
This conference seeks to explore how our understanding of the articulation of economy and morality improves if we also take materiality into consideration. More specifically, this conference aims to investigate the role pious things play in shaping both neoliberal capitalism and experiences and imaginations of piety.
We invite theoretically and ethnographically informed contributions that focus on things produced by and/or for pious individuals, things framed as religious, things that help in the executions of ritual practices and duties and in the expression of religious identities, things of everyday life as well as of special occasions, things that might express the religiosity and morality of their consumers, but not necessarily that of their producers.
We invite our contributors to reflect on the potential such things have to illuminate the entanglement of economy, morality and materiality, to illustrate the tensions and oppositions between piety and commodification, to elucidate ways in which various actors bring together or not, or image others as bringing together or not, religious ethics and moral responsibilities and the imperatives of neoliberal capitalism.
Questions we hope to address:
What kind of relationships do people, especially the religiously committed people, have with such objects?
What kind of economic actors do people, especially the religiously committed people, relate to such objects?
What kind of ethics and practices do people, especially the religiously committed people, relate to such objects?
What do people, especially the religiously committed people, consider economically moral/religiously acceptable?
Please submit a 250-word abstract and a short biographical note (including name, affiliation, e-mail) to the organisers at and by 31 March 2013. The authors of the accepted abstracts will be notified by 19 April 2013.
Magda Craciun, Lale Yalçın-Heckmann, Tomáš Ryška
Department of Social Anthropology
University of Pardubice

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